Do Dogs Live Longer On Human Food? What You Need To Know

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Written by: Celestine Gomez
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You may be wondering why some dogs live longer when they eat only human or homemade food. But the truth is that the lifespan of your dog is affected by not one, but many factors including genetic and environmental factors. You cannot solely say that the dog lived long due to human food when you have no idea whether they could have lived even longer with dog food only.

So far, it has not been proven as to whether dogs live longer or healthier if fed only human food or switch to one. But unlike dog food, your doggo may be missing out on some essential nutrients and there is also a higher risk of toxicity.

Human foods are not necessarily a no-no for dogs. In fact, in certain health conditions, vets usually recommend a break from dry kibble and a transition to human food for a given period of time.

Hence, it’s somewhat impulsive to state that dogs should forgo all human food entirely. However, most recipes or books for homemade dog foods are nutritionally inadequate. It’s always good to consult your vet if you’re planning to switch your dog to human or homemade diets.

While nutrition has a significant impact on your dog’s lifespan, you cannot neglect practices like daily exercise and mental stimulation, dental care, proper training to curb dietary indiscretion, regular examination, and vet checkups. In essence, proper care is key to helping your dog live a long, healthy, and happy life.

Is Human Food Safe For Your Dog?

Your canine’s body digests and metabolizes food in a way different from a human’s. Hence, not every food healthy for humans is a great option for our furry companions.

A lot of human food is completely dog-safe and packed with important nutrients beneficial to your pooch but on the contrary, some human food can be potentially toxic or even deadly. It’s wise to always take moderation into account when feeding your dog any human food or treats. Also, dogs that consume high-fat human food are prone to obesity.

A bunch of healthy, safe and nutritious human food for your includes: chicken, turkey, carrots, popcorn, apple without the core, peanut butter, yogurt, banana, blueberries, white rice, honey, and boneless fish. Food allergies and intolerances are common problems with meat-based and dairy products but generally, these diets are healthy for dogs.

Some human food harmful for your dog includes, but is not limited to onions, garlic, chocolate, grapes, raisins, almonds, caffeine, alcohol, yeast, salt, xylitol, apple core, fatty meat, avocado, coconut, and coconut oil.

While some human foods are safe for dogs the best way to prevent nutrition inadequacy is by opting for high-quality dog food. Dogs are different from humans and even their wolf ancestors, hence, dry kibble was produced to ensure that they get all essential nutrients in a balanced proportion.

Should You Feed Your Dog Only Human Food?

Human food can mean anything from homemade food, table scraps, fruits, veggies, treats, and more. Just be careful what human food is being discussed because not all are safe.

If you decide to go for homemade human food, make sure the nutrition is balanced and complete. That’s basically the hassle you’ll avoid if you simply get high-quality commercial dog food. You can supplement your dog’s food with vitamin-rich vegetables and healthy treats. But always keep moderation in mind.

While homemade human food can be less convenient, time-consuming, nutritionally imbalanced, or even more expensive, there’s no fear that the food might contain low-quality ingredients or harmful artificial preservatives. With human food, you can regulate the amount of each ingredient and you’ll often have a variety-rich diet.

Pay attention to the fruits or treats you give your dogs. Only feed them dog-safe treats and ensure the food you give them doesn’t pose any health risks to your pooch. Remember, that a particular food is safe for humans doesn’t mean it is safe for your Fido.

The word “human food” can also mean table scraps or leftovers. If that’s the case then it’s not advisable to feed them to your dog. From high fat and sodium contents to the presence of toxic ingredients, these foods can be unsafe for your furry counterparts and should be kept away from them.

Both homemade human food and commercially produced dog food hold special benefits for your canine friend. No one is superior to the other. They both have their pros and cons. You can go wrong either way but it’s about what suits you and your pooch. You can also speak to your vet if you are quite unsure.

Also Read: My Dog Ate Guacamole: What Should I Do Now?

What Happens If Your Dog Eats Only Human Food?

Dogs can thrive on just homemade human food provided it is nutritional balanced. The same applies to wet and dry dog food, hence, ensure you do a proper quality check to prevent nutritional deficiencies and other health problems.

Talk to your vet before switching to homemade dog food. If you have already switched to homemade food, or usually share your food with your pooch, make sure you keep an eye on him in case any health issue arises.

These health issues can stem from nutritional imbalance or toxicity of some human foods and they are usually accompanied by symptoms like vomiting, gassiness, loss of appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, abnormal urination, behavioral changes, obesity, or weight loss.

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Only Human Food

Are you worried that your dog only eats human food? It’s common that after feeding your dog tasty human food he’ll tend to choose it over dog food. Here are possible ways to get your dog to start eating and liking his kibble once again.

When your dog begs for it or refuses to eat dog food, resist the impulse to give him human food. You can teach your dog to eat only what you put in front of them, to prevent them from wandering around your table or staring at your plate to get your attention. While you may mix their kibble with healthy human food, don’t offer them treats in between meals.

Dogs can detect an unpleasant flavor or taste in food. As a result, check to confirm that your dog’s kibble isn’t rancid, expired, or of poor quality. Also, check to see if he has any food allergies.

Establish and keep to a regular feeding schedule for your dog. Your dog will cherish his kibble more if he knows he only has 15 minutes until it is taken away. Feeding routines will not only assist to improve your dog’s eating habits, but they will also aid to fix his potty times.

If your dog is already infatuated with the thought of eating human food, try adding minced chicken veggies, probiotics, or chicken broth to his food to make it more appealing. In successive meals, you can progressively reduce the size of these human foods.

If you’re concerned about your dog’s eating habits or notice more serious health issues, you may need to visit the veterinarian. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, dental problems, lethargy, or pain.

Other Ways To Increase Your Dog’s Lifespan

As mentioned earlier, proper nutrition is essential for a longer lifespan in dogs but there are other ways to improve your dog’s health, longevity, and well-being.

  • Make sure you feed your dog a calibrated amount of food appropriate to their age, size, breed, health conditions, and activity level. Never overfeed or underfeed your canine friend.
  • Pay attention to your dog’s dental health. Besides regular brushing, always check for bad breath, bleeding or swollen gums, or even broken teeth.
  • Physical and mental stimulation is important and holds special health benefits for your four-legged companion.
  • Prevent dietary indiscretion in your pooch by proper training, supervision, and keeping leftovers and trash cans out of your dog’s reach.
  • Feed your dog’s various supplements to help improve their health and prevent potential health issues. Examples of these supplements include probiotics, joint supplements, antioxidants, glucosamine, and multivitamins.

Also Read: Help! My Dog Poop Starts Solid Then Runny. What Should I Do?

Can Dogs Live Off Human Food?

Dogs will likely not get all essential nutrients with human food, hence, they may not thrive on human food. Dogs can survive with only human food but this doesn’t make it the healthiest choice.

Millions of dogs have lived on human food but the likelihood of being poisoned by human food is high especially if you don’t do proper research before feeding. On that note, your pooch will be better off with dry or wet dog food.

The fact that you are feeding your pooch some food from your table and they’re fine doesn’t mean it’s right. Sometimes, the toxic effects of these foods may build up causing more serious issues. Many foods are also rich in fat and oil which cause obesity and heart-related problems in dogs.

Final Thoughts: Can Dogs Live Longer On Human Food.

The belief that human food can confer longevity on dogs is not scientifically backed up. The emphasis is more on feeding your dog a nutritionally adequate and complete diet. But because human food does always tick these boxes, you’ll be better off with high-quality dry or wet dog food.

Beware, it’s very easy to create a picky eater if you feed pooch varieties of human food. They may end up having a predilection for only certain food and leave others out. Never feed your dog food from your plate neither should they eat leftovers or table scraps.

In essence, your furry companion doesn’t always know what’s right for them so it’s your duty to choose the best food for them and your pooch will be ever thankful!

You might be interested in Dog Eats Only Human Food (5 Common Reasons & What To Do)

Thanks for stopping by, dog fanciers!

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Celestine Gomez

I'm Celestine Gomez, worked for 5 years in an animal shelter in Los Angeles, California. Having noticed the inherent passion and zeal in me to care for pets, I took a step further to create a team of I and like-minded individuals to provide an informative resource in order to broaden the knowledge base of a regular pet owners.